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FEC okays tax law reforms as government recovers N30b under VAIDS

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Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (right); addressing lawyers, accountants and other professional advisers during the workshop jointly organised by the ministry, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Joint Tax Board for the advisers of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)


The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the review of the country’s tax law system to exempt the charges of Value Added Taxes (VAT) on some goods and services.FEC had on February 1, 2017, approved the revised National Tax Policy in order to have a robust tax system that would promote investment and improve revenue for sustainable national development.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun who briefed State House Correspondents after Council meeting said the approval of the tax laws reform by the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee (NTPIC) now removes obsolete, ambiguous and contradictory provisions in the laws.

According to the minister, the strategy will increase government revenue, simplify the process of paying taxes and doing business, promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and protect most vulnerable persons in the country.

Adeosun who was joined by the minister of state for Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed said with the approval, there will be an amendment in VAT, Goods Liable to Excise Duties and Applicable Rate Order as well as amendment of the Companies Income Tax Act bills.Goods and services, which will no longer be affected by VAT according to the mini­ster, are public transportation, public housing and life insurance.

Other proposals of the NTPIC, which were approved by FEC are the amendment of the VAT Bill, Customs, Excise, Tariff ETC (Consolidation) Act, Personal Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.

The minister said other laws proposed for amendment are the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Proposed Amendment of the Associated Gas Re-Injection Act. The review of the Gas Re-Injection will enable the imposition of penalties other than charges against oil companies engaged in gas flaring in the Niger Delta to discourage them from such operations.

Also, the Federal Government has so far recovered about N30 billion from individuals and corporate establishments through the tax amnesty initiative known as Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).Besides, Adeosun has approved the issuance of a Declaration Certificate to taxpayers who voluntarily declared their previously undisclosed assets and income under the VAIDS.
 
The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, who unveiled the VAIDS Declaration Certificate yesterday, in Abuja, at a workshop organised for chairmen of states’ Inland Revenue Service, disclosed the figure.Fowler disclosed that the certificate was customised for each state tax authority with several security features and would be issued to the taxpayers upon submission of their declaration forms.
 
Speaking shortly before unveiling the certificate, Fowler said out of the N30 billion recovered from individuals and corporate establishments under the scheme, 90 per cent, was collected by the FIRS, while the remaining 10 per cent was recovered by the states. Fowler, who is also the Chairman of the nation’s Joint Tax Board, stated that the national taxpayers’ database had increased from 14 million in 2016 to more than 19 million in 2018.

At the briefing, the minister of state for Budget and National Planning said the Social Investment Programme (SIP) of the government presently has reached 9.76 million beneficiaries cutting across.She said 200,000 beneficiaries already that have been deployed as teachers, agriculture extension workers as well as health extension workers. So we are adding to these numbers by moving to the N-Power Knowledge category.


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Kemi AdeosunVAIDS
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